PRIDE: Cohort 5

Alyson Myers, MD: Dr. Myers is a Clinical Educator and Medical Director of Inpatient Diabetes at North Shore University Hospital and Assistant Professor at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine. She attended the University of Virginia where she majored in French and minored in Chemistry. She attended SUNY Downstate for medical school, where she was the four year recipient of the President’s Award Scholarship. She completed a five year combined Internal Medicine/Psychiatry Residency at Rush University Medical Center. After residency, she completed an endocrinology fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern. During fellowship she received a T32 training grant in the area of mood disorders under the mentorship of Dr. Madhukar Trivedi. In 2015, Dr. Myers was accepted as an Empire Clinical Research Investigators Program (ECRIP) fellow, where she explored the use of TeleHealth for insulin initiation in Black and Hispanic patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. She has several publications on the topics of depression, diabetes and hypertriglyceridemia. She has been a reviewer for Minerva Endocrinologica and Diabetes Care. She has reviewed abstracts for the Endocrine Society and has been chosen to be a presenter for their Early Career Forum for the 2016 meeting.

Alyssa Gamaldo, PhD: Dr. Gamaldo’s current research concentrates on identifying sensitive measures, health indices (i.e., sleep), socio-demographic factors (i.e., neighborhood disorder, education quality) associated with cognitive functioning within older adult populations. She is interested in developing approaches for identifying early signs of impaired cognitive competency, particularly in minority and/or low socioeconomic status samples. Her research goal is to assist in the development of successful interventions to sustain and/or improve cognitive functioning, health, and well-being, particularly within vulnerable populations.

Dayna A. Johnson, PhD, MPH, MS, MSW: Dr. Johnson is a Social Epidemiologist in Sleep Medicine Epidemiology in the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is also an adjunct Research Scientist with the Health Disparities Research Collaborative at Henry Ford Health System. Her research employs a multilevel framework to explore the social and environmental determinants of sleep and sleep disorders across diverse populations with the intention to address sleep disparities and subsequent cardiovascular outcomes. Her current research quantifies the influence of psychosocial stressors as well as household and neighborhood factors on sleep disturbances, assessed by well validated subjective and objective indices; identifies potential differences in risk factors for sleep disorders in African American men and women; and investigates the epidemiology of sleep apnea as well as the contribution of sleep apnea to cognitive function. Dr. Johnson completed her doctorate in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan.

Donaldson Conserve, PhD: Dr. Conserve completed his undergraduate training at Queens College and graduate training at the Pennsylvania State University. Before joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina in the Arnold School of Public Health, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the NIH T32 STD/HIV Training Program at the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases and the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since 2007, he has conducted research on HIV prevention, care, and treatment in national and international settings. He has collaborated with researchers at the Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training in New York City, Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation in South Africa, Partners In Health in Haiti, and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania. His research focuses on developing, implementing, and evaluating novel intervention strategies to prevent and treat HIV. Particularly, he is interested in examining social and structural factors associated with HIV testing, HIV treatment initiation, and adherence and developing multilevel interventions to address barriers impeding individuals and groups from accessing HIV prevention and treatment services.

Janalyn Cantey Edmonds, PhD, RN: Dr. Edmonds earned her BSN at Hampton University; and her MSN and PhD at The Catholic University of America. Her doctoral research, The Relationship of Weight, Body Image, Self-Efficacy and Stress to Health-Promoting Behaviors of College Educated African American Women, found that body image and stress were predictors of these women using health promoting behaviors of regular exercise and nutritional eating.She now serves as Assistant Professor, in the Division of Nursing, College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences at Howard University. She was awarded the Howard University Faculty Summer Fellowship (2014) to conduct a pilot study to examine claustrophobia and its influence on CPAP adherence in adults with OSA. Findings of this study indicate that claustrophobic tendencies are exceedingly prevalent in this cohort of predominantly African American participants (80% prevalent rate). The Summer Fellowship award provided opportunities for additional training, research study collaboration, attendance at scientific meetings, and a reduced teaching load. Secondary analysis, she co-investigated with researchers at Pennsylvania State University (Edmonds JC, Yang H, King TS, Sawyer DA, Rizzo A, Sawyer AM. Claustrophobic tendencies and continuous positive airway pressure therapy non-adherence in adults with obstructive sleep apnea, Heart & Lung: The Journal of Acute and Critical Care. 2015;44(2):100-106), found that claustrophobia is prevalent among CPAP users, indicating interventions are needed to address this barrier to OSA treatment. Her current goal is to receive extramural grant funding to conduct a randomized controlled trial to test CBT interventions for CPAP adherence in underserved adults with OSA.

Laura Reid Marks, PhD: Dr. Marks is a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Memphis. She received her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Purdue University. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Arizona State University Counseling Services. Her dissertation focused on the relations among discrimination, mental health, and sexual risk behaviors in Black college women. Her current research interests center on microaggressions, mental health, and HIV-related health disparities. She seeks to implement behavioral research in to her future work with the HIV-population. Dr. Marks is originally from Jamaica.

Maxine Adegbola, PhD, MSN: Dr. Adegbola is an experienced educator who has taught in a variety of nursing programs. Currently, she is a full-time faculty member at the University of Texas at Arlington, and is recognized nationally for health-related leadership, education, and research. Her scholarship focuses on care of vulnerable individuals with chronic pain and its associated symptoms, such as sleep disturbances. Regarding research and healthcare delivery for individuals with chronic pain and sickle cell disease [SCD], she aims to develop health promotion strategies to improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare disparities among this vulnerable population. Her goal is to join a cadre of scientists who contribute to furthering current knowledge related to CV-related diseases, such as SCD. Additionally, Dr. Adegbola has a passion for mentoring others: including junior high school students, inspiring them to choose a career in nursing science.

Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo, PhD: Dr. Lara-Cinisomo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Prior to joining UIUC, she worked at the RAND Corporation where she conducted research on children’s school readiness and maternal mental health disparities. She also held a tenure-track faculty position at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she taught and conducted research on mental health disparities and school performance among low-income youth. She recently completed an NIH-funded T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship in Reproductive Mood Disorders at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she conducted an innovative biomedical study exploring the association between postpartum depression, hormonal dysregulation and pain sensitivity in a sample of English- and Spanish-speaking Latinas. Her research focuses on addressing mental health disparities among racial and ethnic, low-income, immigrant Latina, and military mothers. Her current research focuses on exploring the association between postpartum depression, breastfeeding practices, stress reactivity, and pain sensitivity in lactating women. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and co-edited the first reference book on perinatal depression in Latinas with Dr. Katherine Wisner titled “Perinatal Depression among Spanish-Speaking and Latina American Women: A Global Perspective on Detection and Treatment.”

Susan Hall, EdD, MSN, RNC-OB, CCE: Dr. Hall is an Assistant Professor on a tenure track in the Division of Nursing at Winston Salem State University. She served as a head nurse, team leader, responsible for staffing of the units, assuring staff competency, preceptor for new nurses, and prepared staff for a successful Magnet survey.  Dr. Hall is multifaceted in women’s health such as, being certified in Childbirth Education, and Inpatient Obstetric Nursing. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau Rho Lambda chapter since 2009, National League of Nursing since 2007, and America Nursing Association.  Hall also serves as maternity coordinator, chair of undergraduate curriculum and a member of the Faculty Development team in the Division of Nursing at Winston Salem State University. Dr. Hall’s primary area of research is Simulation. She has a particular interest in BSM Pride Institute in becoming a research scientist in women’s health focusing on high-risk complications such as Diabetes but open to other complications that effect our pregnant mothers’ life styles behavior as it relates to having their babies born prematurely.

Traci N. Bethea, PhD, MPA: Dr. Bethea is a Research Associate at the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University and a member of the Boston University-Boston Medical Center Cancer Center. She completed an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and then completed a Ph.D. in Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health. Her interest in socioeconomically- and racially-patterned health disparities led her to her current work, which has focused on cancer health disparities. As a postdoctoral associate at Boston University, she received training in cancer epidemiology and worked with data from the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS), the African American Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Risk Consortium, and the NCI Cohort Consortium. Her work has been funded by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the Black Women’s Health Imperative. Through her work with the BWHS, She became aware of the important role that sleep quality can play in a variety of health outcomes. Because poor sleep patterns and insomnia are much more prevalent among African Americans than other populations, she is interested in studying the relation of sleep characteristics, quality, and disorders to health in underrepresented minority populations, with a particular focus on African Americans.

TyWanda McLaurin-Jones, PhD: Dr. McLaurin-Jones is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and is the Director of Behavioral Sciences in Department of Community & Family Medicine at Howard University. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Howard University with specialties in pediatrics and behavioral medicine. Dr. McLaurin-Jones’ broad research interests include culturally-specific interventions to reduce cardiovascular risk behaviors among African American women. Her current research focuses on identifying ethnic, spiritual, and family protective factors of risky behaviors among minority college women.